The new leader of Aberdeenshire Council paid homage to the region’s roots as he read his inaugural address to the chamber in Doric.
Mark Findlater, who represents Troup, is a passionate advocate of the traditional north-east tongue.
He was elected to lead the local authority at the first meeting of the new term at Woodhill House, in Aberdeen, this morning.
Mr Findlater now heads up a ruling coalition administration of 26 Tories, 14 Liberal Democrats and six independent councillors.
A former bomb disposal expert, he told the Press and Journal that he had no nerves about the new appointment.
‘Hud awa thay deel’
And the proud Doric ambassador made sure his first speech was one to remember.
Addressing all those from “the Blue Toon and Turra” to “Banff and thay Mearns an away atween”, he said voters had put their trust in them “to spik and speer”.
Mr Findlater added: “Here in es bear pit for thay nithin forbae.
“Spik free and clear an listen weel.
“Hink on fit ye dae an hud awa thay deel.”
As leader, Mr Findlater will be paid £45,669 every year while new provost Judy Whyte will take home £34,254.
The basic wage for a councillor is £19,5721 but that goes up for those appointed to chair committees.
A hard act to follow…
Gwyneth Petrie, leader of the SNP group, joked that she “didn’t have anything rhyming prepared” as she addressed the room.
The leader of the opposition warned colleagues that the coming five years “will be tough for us”.
She added: “The people of Aberdeenshire will rely on us more than ever to assist and support them.”
And the Huntly councillor pledged to “continue to hold the administration to account” while “working as collegiately as we can”.
Council stages biggest meeting for years
The gathering at the council’s Woodhill House HQ was the busiest the chambers have been for more than two years.
A total 49 of the 66 councillors attending did so in person – with 17 virtual participants appearing via Teams on TV screens overlooking the room.
Being back felt like old times for many, with Banff councillor John Cox telling us afterwards how much he enjoyed being in the same room as his colleagues.
Hailing the “transferable skills” his new Conservative councillors bring to the table, Mr Findlater told us he was “very positive about the future”.
Read Mark Findlater’s full Doric speech:
Is wis meant tae be yasee
69 Cooncillors en front o me
Garioch, Formartine, the Broch, Bloo Toon and Turra
Banff and thay Mearns, Kincardine, Braemar and Banchory
An away in atween
The folk hiv pit air trust in ee, tae spik and speer
Here in es bear pit for thay nithin forbae
Spik free and clear an listen weel
hink on fit ye dae an hud awa thay deel
Air trust is in your hans
Keep it weel and hud tae your lans
There is nae sik thing as a mere custodian
Be true and fair……. An hud gaun